Mama in the Middle



mama in the middleA few years ago, an article popped up on my Facebook newsfeed entitled “A Letter From a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother (and Vice Versa)” by Dr. Carolyn Ee. Both my working mom friends and stay-at-home moms alike were enthusiastically sharing this article with comments such as “YES!” Must Read” and “Awww.”

I did not echo their sentiments, nor did I feel inclined to share it on my page. Rather, I vented about this very article to my friend during our lunch (which I did not eat over my desk!). And now, rereading it, it still makes me angry.

The cold, hard truth is that whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, many variables make your life easy or hard.

For instance, the stay-at-home mom that stopped working because their family couldn’t afford daycare. I can imagine she must be diligently searching for coupons and having to decide which school PTO activity her child can participate in based on funds in the bank. It is very different from the stay-at-home mom who can still afford the cleaning lady, part-time babysitter, and membership to cross-fit. Extremely different variables. Extremely different lives. And these are just two examples of a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom from a vast assortment of ladies who share that title.

I happen to be of the working mom variety, but I didn’t “choose” this option. As the main provider of affordable healthcare for our family through my job, and not to mention contributor to the monthly mortgage and household expenses, I didn’t really have a choice to stay home.

For many of us working moms, it really isn’t that simple. It takes a lot of planning and saving to be able to do that. Even as my children grow older, I am trying to make that happen. And let me tell you, if Publisher’s Clearinghouse showed up at my door with a check, I would walk away without even looking back.

On the flip side, I am sure other working mommies love having a career and maybe don’t enjoy the day-to-day simplicity of “Peppa Pig” episodes and library sing-a-longs. Again, we may be lumped in the same category but have very different feelings about it.

When it comes down to it and what the article was probably meaning to say is that being a mom is hard work, and we all deserve a crown. 

For the majority of us, we are the ones that have to comfort and clean our sick little ones in the middle of the night and still wake up in the morning to either run a meeting or run a household. We all share in the fear that our decisions may not be the right ones and wonder if French fries can be considered a substantial dinner. We all breathe a sigh of relief when it is the other kid at the playground who bops someone on the head with a shovel.

Let’s stop sorting mommies into the categories of working mom or stay-at-home mom and realize there is much grey in between. I am a mama somewhere in the middle. How about you?


  1. I’ve never participated in the SAHM vs Working Mom debate because I never saw reason to. At the end of the day, that old thing about everybody throwing all of their problems and worries into a big pile in the middle of the room and getting to choose which they’d like to carry holds true… in the end, most people would take their own back. Everybody’s got blessings and burdens, highs and lows. I’d rather expend my energy trying to build a fellow mother up as opposed to tearing her down.

    Excellent post, Shannon.


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